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Breaking Down Beauty: Glitter Eyeliner

By Sheila Arkee

Besides being pretty to look at, glitter is a lot of fun to incorporate in your makeup. As much as I love wearing glitter, I realize that glitter can be a bit intimidating. What do do with it, exactly? It doesn’t really stick to anything, so keep in mind that you always need to use it with a carrier.

You can mix it in with clear nail polish, or the nail polish of your choice for some sparkly fun, and even mix it in with your lipgloss. And if you’re really adventurous, wear it all across your lid, like I did in a previous Breaking Down Beauty.

One of my favorite ways to wear glitter is as an eyeliner. I could wax poetic about how much I love a little gleam at the lash line. Loooooooooove. It’s just so cute, really, and I need to line my eyes with glitter more often.  

So, how does one get from loose glitter which has no adhesive power in and of itself, to a liner that actually sticks on your eye? It’s not as hard as you think!

I’m using the glitters from Sweet Libertine*, which I really like because they are a really fine texture, a finer grade than I’ve ever used before. MAC has some great glitters, as well, but they are a little bit chunkier in texture, if that description makes any sense.

Besides the glitter, you’ll need a brush for lining your eyes, a mixing medium, and a surface to mix the glitter with the mixing medium.

In this example, I’m using a generic fine liner brush that I picked up years ago at a beauty trade show, and wouldn’t you know it’s the best brush I’ve ever used? If only I could remember the name of the company that makes this brush! It’s very similar to MAC’s 210 brush. You can also use an angled lining brush if that tends to be easier for you.

For the mixing medium, I’m using MAC’s mixing medium, which is very similar to the one made by Makeup Forever. Either are great investments for your makeup kit.  You can also make your own mixing medium using glycerine and water, according to several YouTube videos, which is something I’m going to have to try!

To mix the glitter with my mixing medium, I’m using a glass petri dish I picked up somewhere along the way. I love this little petri dish – it makes it really easy to blend and mix makeup. You can find them at really cheap prices on eBay and websites that sell scientific supplies.

Step 1: To get the glitter, I put the clean, dry lining brush directly into the glitter. It picks up just the right amount of glitter you will need, which isn’t that much. Just a teensy bit will do! Tap the brush onto the petri dish to deposit the glitter.

Step 2: Put a couple of drops of your mixing medium of choice on to the petri dish. Not on the glitter, just to the side.

Step 3: Dip your brush into the mixing medium and saturate the brush making sure all the bristles are covered with liquid. 

Step 4: Dip your brush directly into the glitter and roll the brush around, making sure to pick up the glitter. You don’t want the mixture on the brush to be too liquidy or too dry. You’ll get a feel for the right amount as you’re working with the glitter and mixing medium.

Step 5: Away from the liquid and glitter, I roll the brush around on the petri dish to make sure that everything is on the brush evenly – you don’t want the brush to be dripping with your mixing medium and glitter combo.

Step 6: Apply your liner – it helps to take little “steps” and slowly press the glitter into your upper lash line. Check out this Breaking Down Beauty about eyeliner application if you need help!

And there you have it!

The glitter will stay on your eyes, and will wash off easily. Now that you know this technique, go and have fun with some glitter!

*Provided for consideration.
  • Megan

    Glitter is another place where you can use a sponge tipped applicator.

    If you can help me figure out how to take a decent picture of my eye- I should do a breaking down beauty…
    but I can never get it right.

  • admin

    Do you use the sponge tip for the entire eye?

    What kind of camera are you using? Your D40? I could do a tutorial so you can do a tutorial, but it might not be so pretty … lol …

  • Shannon

    Thanks for the steps, it looks like something even I could do (maybe)! That eyeliner is gorgeous, I’m going to look into whether they ship to Canada.

  • Briget

    I love the silver glitter on some of the Bond girls in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3nBuwOPu8A&feature=av2n

    Especially the Asian girl at 54. (under eye liner)

  • admin

    Briget – I love that … simple, but so pretty.

    Shannon – They do!

    Ninjagato – Seriously, the best names ever. Sarah’s husband Justin comes up with all the names – they’re a great team!

  • Megan

    DO a tutorial—I think that would be AWESOME.

    I also sponge glitter all over my eye…I am drag like that.

  • admin

    Things might get ugly with the tutorial …lots of body contorting. LOL … I’ll need to find a friend with a camera to help.

  • Emmie

    Nice :) you can also use an adhesive/primer thing OR vaseline on you lids then apply the loose glitter.The vaseline only works for very fine glitter though

  • Sheila – Painted Ladies

    Great tips, Emmie!